32-year-old Hsieh Su-Wei stopped 17-year-old qualifier Amanda Anisimova from lifted her first career WTA title on Sunday in Japan, beating the American 6-2, 6-2 for her third career title at the Hana-Cupid Japan Women’s Open.
It was the Chinese Taipei No. 1’s first final in six years, and she improved to 3-0 in career championship matches.
It has been a resurgent season for Hsieh, who will return to the Top 30 for the first time in almost six years, and a breakout season for the American teen who just a year ago was raising the US Open girls’ trophy. Hsieh this year also beat former No. 1 Garbine Muguruza at the Australian Open, and current No. 1 Simona Halep at Wimbledon.
“I twisted my ankle, then I had a problem with my ankle,” she said of issues over the last year. “It was very bad and I could not even walk on the ground. Last year in the claycourt season, every match I played, it was kind of like a torture.”
The match was a reversal of their previous encounter in the first round of Honolulu last year when Anisimova won 6-0, 6-1.
“[Anisimova] can serve very well, she can hit forehands and backhands down the line and crosscourt, she can do anything,” Hsieh said. “She also did a very good dropshot today, which was surprising to me — so I just tried to catch every ball.”
Anisimova entered her first WTA final at No. 134 on the WTA rankings. The American had 23 unforced errors to only 11 winners as Hsieh destroyed her rhythm with off-speed play and a flurry of drop shots. Just turning 17 two weeks ago, Anisimova is the youngest player to reach a WTA final since 16-year-old Donna Vekic at Tashkent in 2012 and Birmingham in 2013.
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